One of the more ludicrous claims made since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine fast-forwarded an already inevitable energy crisis is that simply going “green” can secure our energy independence. This is an ironically-flawed notion that ignores some inconvenient truths our European allies know all too well.
Though we don’t rely on foreign nations for sunlight and wind, we are almost completely reliant on other countries (mostly China) for the immense quantities of minerals needed to build the wind turbines, solar panels and batteries used to collect “green” energy. This is primarily because the same “Keep It In the Ground” groups that insist we go 100 percent “green” have proven very effective at stopping the domestic mining needed to access these raw inputs here in the United States. Add in the fact renewable energy can only generate electricity – weather-dependent and unreliable electricity at that – and it’s clear that wind and solar replace oil and thousands of petroleum-based products about as well as hats replace shoes.
It’s with these facts in mind that the Department of Energy has forecast we’ll need more oil and natural gas 30 years from now than we’re using today. That said, the only realistic path toward energy and economic security is an all-of-the-above approach that focuses on producing as much of all forms of energy in the United States as possible.
Fortunately, we are in a much better position to truly embrace this approach than our friends in Europe. Europe has spent the past 20 years shunning development of its hydrocarbon resources and attempting to go “green.”
So how’s it going?
Because of its obsession with going “green,” a vast majority of European countries banned hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking), the most effective technology available to maximize oil and gas production. “Fracking” has single-handedly transformed the United States into a net petroleum exporter over the past 15 years. At the same time, European oil and gas development has declined rapidly while renewable energy has proven woefully inadequate for meeting the continent’s energy demand. As a result, Europe has relied on Russia for 40 percent of the natural gas and 25 percent of the oil it consumes.
After bankrolling Vladimir Putin’s atrocities in Ukraine to the tune of $450 million per day in Russian oil imports as it dilly-dallied for months on a decision to ban Russian petroleum, Europe is now scrambling to find a replacement for the oil it desperately needs. Its leaders’ proposed solution: more renewables. As one industry insider recently tweeted, Europe has painted itself in a corner and is contemplating using more paint.
We must learn from Europe’s mistakes and avoid their unrealistic “green” energy fantasies that have turned into an energy nightmare. There are no shortage of red flags on the misguided path to relying on foreign nations for alternative energy.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares recently warned the electric vehicle (EV) industry is facing a “Darwinian period” due to difficulty in acquiring essential mineral inputs for massive EV batteries. Environmental groups also …….